Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Power of Community in Your Success

I've been thinking a lot about the role "community" plays in my life. It's a term that gets thrown around so much that I wonder if anyone has internalized a definition for themselves and embraced it?

The deeper I've gone into my own communities, the more I see the profound role they play in my life. In fact, I can quickly identify six distinct communities that I actively participate in on a daily basis. Whoa!

Professional
This seems obvious, yet my focus isn't that I have a cool job and am able to do interesting things. It's all about the relationships and trust I've built that makes the difference.

Social
All hail the power of social media. Yes, I'm serious. Some of my most important social relationships (and my Personal Board of Directors) were born out of my connections on various social media channels.

Faith
This is a huge part of my daily life, and I am absolutely grateful for it. Whether I'm leading small groups, or prepping for a big mission trip later this summer, my faith community has been tremendous.

Fitness
Staying healthy and reasonably fit has been an important part of my life for a long time. Investing in a professional trainer last Fall has helped me take my game to the next level. Now, a new facebook accountability group around fitness and motivation helps keep me on track as well.


Music
When my friend Michael Carty asked me to write about how I feel about "my" music, I was both humbled and a bit intimidated. But alas, my music is not only one of my greatest passions, it has also brought me to one of the most welcoming, nonjudgmental communities I have ever experienced. Here's the post if you're curious.

Family
Last here...but certainly not on my list of priorities, is my amazing family and those close personal relationships that make all the noise of the world seem insignificant. To say I feel blessed would be a massive understatement.

How About You
What are the communities that mean the most to you? How do they make a difference in your life?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

What's Your Message?

We all send a message. Whether it's in the words we choose to say, the decisions we make, the risks we take, the way we choose to behave or the culture we promote in our organizations...we all send a message.

What message do you send? What would those around you say defines who you are as a leader? Those messages are real. Their impact on the team is real. 

Far too often leaders believe they can say one thing and do another. That is simply untrue. Our colleagues are bright, insightful people who are crystal clear on our impact. 


How is it then that leaders can convince themselves of their own reality and be so far removed from what actually is...well...real?

The saddest part is watching it all happen. So many lost opportunities to lead, when instead it's as if their internal cult of personality has to be fed.

What do you think about messaging? Is it as simple as "do the right thing" or, is there a deeper issue that needs to be explored?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

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Monday, July 1, 2019

Downshift

Hey friends...I'm back from an incredible week away with my sons. I'm blessed beyond words to be able to have fun as well as to experience wild moments with them (literally...think sharks!)

Time
As my children become adults, it is increasingly clear to me that the quality of the time we spend together far outweighs the quantity. Gone are the days of playing hide and seek and having "floor time" every evening after work.

Now, it's all about quality. To be honest with you, that transition is harder than I thought it would be. They don't need me every day like they used to, but they sure do need me now. 

We maximize our time together, as I do with my older daughter, to ensure our time is meaningful, not just an obligation to "get together."

Focus
I wonder if that same commitment to quality moments holds true in the workplace? Spending time with our team members is critically important to building the corporate cultures we all long for. Yet, it is not up to the employees to create the environment for that culture to flourish. 

That responsibility rests solely on us as leaders.

Additionally, our employees don't need us to watch over them every minute of the day. They are not children. They are the bright, creative, hard-working people that make our organizations successful.

Do they still need us? Of course they do. But they need quality, not overbearing quantity.


How About You
What is your time commitment to your team? Are you downshifting away from a focus on quantity and moving to maximizing the quality of your time with them? Or, is the old school bed check approach more your style?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

I Grind Harder Than You

I've spent lots of time over the years pushing myself. 

that ridiculous "inbox zero" goal...

the perceived need to be the first one in the office and the last to leave...

the email sessions over the weekend to stay on top of every single thing in the universe...

and worst of all, the guilt that comes from actually giving myself some down time.

What is Wrong With Me
Maybe it comes with age...er...not being an up and comer anymore? Maybe it's a new lens that we are blessed with when we cross the halfway mark (yes, I'm over 50). Or, maybe it's just that I'm thinking about my whole self, and how taking care of my whole self actually makes me a better member of my organization?

How is this post any different than the ones that talk about work / life balance and taking care of yourself?

Well, it's not about everyone else like those other posts. This one is about me.

Slowly Figuring It Out
Over the last year or so, I've finally started to distance myself from "work guilt" and have completely moved away from the odd concept of "work / life balance."

First, the guilt. 

Understanding that my entire life is not defined by the work I do (although I am extremely proud of what we're doing at Kinetix); and, that the success we are having can not be the only thing that represents who I am.

My family, my faith, my friends and my health are also huge parts of who I am. Recognizing that those pieces also deserve my "time" has been an important and positive shift for me.

Now, that balance fallacy.

For a long time I've struggled to let go of trying to balance my work life and personal life. Not necessarily in the way you might think though. The realization that has finally come is to fully embrace that notion that my life includes both my work and personal lives throughout every day.

I may need to spend a night (or several) working on a proposal, catching up on work tasks or prepping for a busy day. The weekend might provide the only time I can focus on important follow up items.

I also may need to spend part of a day addressing other pressing issues in my life that are not work related...but they are "me" related.


My whole self. 

It comes down to balancing my whole life, not trying to compartmentalize the many facets of who I am into nice little buckets and time slots on my calendar.

Life balance.

How About You
Have you gotten caught up in the mindset of hyper-productivity is the only true productivity? I was there for many years. Now, I embrace all of the parts of my life and I feel stronger and more effective than ever. I wish it hadn't taken so long to get here.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

My Secret Ingredients to Interviewing

Over the years I've interviewed for a variety of jobs. In the early part of my career I was...well...not even close to qualified for some of them. But that didn't stop me from getting hired.

What was the secret combination of magical spells I put on the hiring managers to give me a shot?

Three Secrets
1. Preparation

This first step may sound obvious, but sadly, I've seen this noticeably absent over and over again. Candidates come to interviews (even at middle and senior management levels) ill-prepared to grill me and my colleagues about the opportunity.

Conversely, I have always wanted to be the most prepared person in the interview process...particularly when I was the candidate. That's right...I wanted to be far more prepared than those interviewing me.

Exhaustive reviews of company websites, Linkedin profiles, google searches of leaders, and detailed questions based on each person who would be interviewing me were mandatory. 

2. Confidence

Being timid is lame. Being soft is lame. Being meek inspires absolutely zero confidence. Sound hokey? I don't care. 

It's true. I'm never going to hire someone to join my company if they are not confident in their initial presentation to me. 

After all, I'm only asking them to talk about them self. If they can not do that, how are they going to thrive in any corporate culture? 

3. Energy

How does one exude confidence? With lots of energy, that's how. Work is more demanding than ever. The ability to keep up with the crazy pace we're all expected to maintain requires lots of energy. If that doesn't show in the interview, how in the world will a hiring leader have any confidence that it will mysteriously show up once you start the job?

How About You
What are your secrets to successful interviews? What would you add to my list? 

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


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Monday, May 20, 2019

The Shortest Straw

Drawing the Shortest Straw: Chosen to do a task that nobody wants to do (read here --> leading Human Resources)

They Have No Idea
The unknown pressure of leading HR.

The toughest, most confrontational roles.

The most intense issues to address...investigations, harassment, discrimination.

Terminating others. It's not just getting rid of a 'problem'...you just stopped someone from earning money to provide for their family.

The pressure to 'fill the jobs' when we know the leaders bear just as much responsibility to create cultures where their team members feel valued and respected.

The demands to develop an effective team of leaders.

The responsibility to build a positive culture across the entire organization.

The necessity to not only understand HR, but to also fully understand the business, revenue streams, and expense management challenges.

The need to have a comprehensive and competitive compensation program.

The expectation that the organization will remain union-free.

Oh, yes, and make sure all of the parties are fun.



How About You
Did we pull the shortest leadership straw? 

Hell, no. 

We drew this straw because the others can not handle what we can handle.

Take pride in being a leader in HR. Take pride in being a leader in your organization.

Take pride every time you hear "I could never do your job." They're absolutely right. They never could.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Gotta Go

I've recently had the privilege to speak at several #DisruptHR events in Atlanta and Tampa. My talk focused on the potential for human resources leaders...and candidly, all leaders...to take risks, live their values, and lead with conviction.

That's what is most important, right?

HR Stuff Matters, But...
It's not that updating policy manuals, going to the Forms Committee meeting, and ensuring open enrollment goes smoothly aren't important. But, these things don't drive business results.

Living your values, and leading with conviction do.

When was the last time you led with your personal values first...and corporate double-talk last?

Take the Step
One of the things I found so encouraging during those DisruptHR events was the energy the attendees had to make changes. They are ready to move forward into new territory in their organizations. 

They are ready to go for it.

How About You
Are you ready to join them? What is on your list that seems impossible to execute, but with some support (from me!) and some courage (from you!) it can become a reality?

You gotta go for it!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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